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TOPIC: Any other musicians here?

Any other musicians here? 3 years 2 months ago #5254

A quick note of introduction as I'm new here. I'm a resident of Austin, Texas and a longtime professional musician who discovered theatre and Shakespeare relatively late in my career. On my fairly well-fed resume are positions as former musical director and resident composer for Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, the former Austin Shakespeare Festival and currently hold the same post for the Prague Shakespeare Festival in the Czech Republic. Just returned from an ambitious tour with Prague Shakes doing "Lear" and "As You Like It" in repertory that began in Houston and ended in Prague. Will be launching a business venture involving music for Shakespeare productions later this year.

Any other musicians/composer resident, I'd love to exchange a few words and ideas. Thanks, y'all....
Last Edit: 3 years 2 months ago by MusicForShakespeare.
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5406

  • Ron Severdia
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A belated welcome. I just met Guy Roberts on my travels to Prague this week so I have a frame of reference for your activities there. :)

Have you done the music for the Merchant of Venice before? A song is sung in 3.2 when Bassanio is selecting a casket and it's open to a certain amount of interpretation who sings it. We've been discussing the pros and cons and just wondered if you have had any experience with MoV.
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5408

Hey Ron:

Thanks for the response and I hope you enjoyed Prague as much as I do.

No experience with Merchant of Venice. Yet. MoV is high on my list of plays to write for. I'd be interested in hearing about any production of the play that you're involved with.

Cheers,

Ed
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5411

As far as I can see, both the Folio and Quarto simply instruct "A Song the whilst Bassanio comments on the Caskets to himself;" I can't see a good reason for "All" to sing it, as Portia has given the order "Let music sound" several lines earlier. Most probably, it's sung by a professional musician (and accompanied by a small consort) in Portia's employ. If there is a designation "All" in some editions, it might refer only to the line "Reply, reply," sung by the rest of the consort, who then are answered by the soloist singing the second verse.
But I was in a production many years ago (1966!) where Nerissa, clearly impressed with Bassanio (and probably under orders from Portia), sang it, and helped him to the "right" choice by landing heavily on all the syllables rhyming with "lead:" BRED, HEAD, nourishED, FED... It was a put-up job, and he got the message. (Come to think of it, I wrote the music for that version, too...)
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5429

Hi, Ed.

I'm an actor in the Austin area. I recently played Feste in Twelfth Night, which required a little music. We found period music for some of the songs, but I wrote my own music for "Come Away, Death," which I played on guitar while I sang it, and I wrote my own accompaniment for "The Wind and the Rain," which I played on mandolin.

Since then, I picked up a copy of Duffin's Shakespeare's Songbook, which looks interesting, although I haven't really had a chance to dig into it yet.

Is any of your stuff online? I'd love to hear some.

Best regards,
.k.
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5430

I am in the process of setting up a site to sell music/SFX scores for the most commonly-performed Shakespeare plays at www.MusicForShakespeare.net. All I have up at the moment are a rock-themed Julius Caesar, an orchestral King Lear and a Romeo & Juliet which has more of a period feel to it. Currently working on getting The Tempest, The Twelfth Night and Midsummer Night up next. Eventually hope to have all plays, each in 3 or 4 different styles, available for educators and small theatrical groups to use. Plays containing songs offer the songs in versions with vocal and also as instrumental beds for actors to sing over. The whole concept is evolving as I get the site pieced together and add content, but you should be able to get an idea of what I'm doing.

Keep me abreast of where you're performing in Austin, Kevin, and I'll come see you performing. I play solo gigs regularly around Austin when not touring with Prague Shakespeare Festival and often sneak in a Shakespeare tune or two. I'll be at the Monument Cafe in Georgetown Thursday night and the Georgetown Winery Saturday night. Stop in and request some Shakespeare....
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Re: Any other musicians here? 2 years 11 months ago #5435

I'd love to, but I have conflicts - Titus Andronicus rehearsal Thursday, and performing in The Tempest at the EmilyAnn in Wimberley on Saturday.
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